tv American Perspectives CSPAN May 28, 2011 11:00pm-2:00am EDT
>> thank you lord, for holding back the liquid sunshine. let me congratulate my honorary recipients. tom freeman, and dr. john brooks slaughter, for acknowledged for commitment, please join me in honoring them another warm, round of applause. and on behalf of the organization i am proud to lead, the national urban league. and it's 98 affiliates that
serve 2.1 million people across this nation. and among whose past and present leadership, howard university alumni, and including the former president, who is on stage. and the distinguished jordan, a member of the board of trustees. we often congratulations to the howard university. like howard, the national urban league shares a mission, and i am proud that our state of american town hall took place here in on the campus and thank you dr. ribeau and howard university. and now for the class of 2011,
whether you have graduated sumna claude or just thank you, laude, i say this is the day that the lord has made, let us be glad and rejoice in it. and class of 2011, give yourselves the warmest, loudest congratulations. that you can muster. now i promise to be brief. and then to be seated. i got 11 minutes and 11 seconds. but it does remind me of a
little story. many years ago i met a woman when i was practicing law, who wanted help in drafting a prenuptial agreement as she prepared to marry for the fourth time. now she was nearing the ripe age of 80. and i asked her, please tell me just a little bit about those first three husbands. because i really need to know what assets you are bringing into this marriage. she said, that when she was young she married a wealthy real estate developer, they owned many homes, in colorado and on the eastern shore of maryland, townhouses in new york, washington and miami. and suddenly he died.
and she inherited a nice sized fortune. and then she met a struggling actor, a ladies man and who was an aspiring musician, and they went to the tony's and oscars and traveled the world and spent the money from the first husband and then he ran off with another woman. later on in life she changed course and married a minister of the gospel. and she sat in the first pew of the church as the lady of the church and went to revival and sitting in the pew every sunday and then he passed. and i said now at 80, what you
have chosen for your fourth husband? she said, i have chosen an undertaker. and i said, you have had all of these wonderful experiences, why would you choose to marry an undertaker at the age of 80? she said, baby, i chose one for the money, two for the show, three to get ready and four to go. [applause] now the good book teaches us that there is a time and season for everything. there is a time for the money. there is a time for the show. and there is a time to prepare and yes, unfortunately there is a time when we must all go. class of 2011, you today have
reached the mountain top of earning a degree from one of the great institutions of higher education anywhere in the world. a university lead by a talented board of trustees. an experienced and passionate president, dr. sidney ribeau, and a faculty of great scholars and practicitioners. a university that trained great surgeons, supreme court justices, members of congress, mayors, architects, musicians, lawyers, dentists, teachers and pastors and maybe some others.
class of 2011, you have not simply earned a degree from any university, you have earned your degree today from howard university! and don't ever forget it. my own family has proudly been a part of this university's legacy and history. my late grandfather, born as a son of share croppers in louisiana in the year of 1896. graduated from howard university school of medicine in 1922. and he returned to the segregated south of new orleans to practice medicine and found both an insurance company and a
savings bank ina career that spanned 60 years. following that, no less than 10 family members, including my late father-in-law and wife and completed howard universitys in 1989, are proud members of the bison family. so dr. ribeau and chairman rand, you make me complete with this degree, for i am now and forever shall be a proud howard university bison. now class of 2011, the world that you face is a world in the throes of change and transformation. from egypt and syria, to right
here in the united states. change and transformation and n certainty is ever present. from the growing power in india and china, to the presence of a black man in the white house. this nation has come a long way from the freedom writers 50 years ago left campuses to go to work to the south. as you look at the mountain top you climb today, towards the horizon. you look out and see valleys and hill tops and rivers and streams. you will see mountain in the distance you must traverse. challenges ahead of you. i want to leave you today and ask you to keep three simple words in mind. those are three words that begin
with the letter "e." the first is excellence. the second is equality. and the third is expectation. the first is excellence, whether we talk about oprah winfrey or thomas freedman, we are witnesses to lives that have been committed to excellence. oprah winfrey is where she is today because she is simply the best. barack obama is where he is today, because he's simply the best. some in the world today accept
mediocrity and excuses. and i want to see the class of 2011 to be the best you can be in everything you can do. you can be good mothers, fathers, husbands and wives and great doctors and lawyers and communicators. whatever profession you choose, commit to be the best. recently we saw a clash between the commitment to excellence and the commitment of mediocrity. mediocrity occurred when donald trump perfected mediocrity in discussions when obsessing about birth certificates. while obsessing about birth certificates, barack obama was getting osama bin laden.
so what i say today is donald, you got your birth certificate, and you got bin laden, what do you want now? the second "e" is to commit to equality. you must work for a more just and equitable nation and global community. an american which will not tolerate deep poverty amidst prosperity. a nation that does not tolerate 40% of its black young children not finishing high school on time each year. an america that will cut housing to health care and children while maintaining huge subsidies in taxes and loopholes for the
wealthiest in this nation. we cannot be comfortable. we cannot be comfortable with the great recession has cost millions their jobs and homes. we can't be comfortable with a gap in the nation between those who have, and those who have not, and those who have more is on the rise. class of 2011, do not please, fall prey to commercialism, and consumerism and militarism. your tasks like the freedom writers of 50 years ago. like those who student who is challenged the war and those students that marched against the apartheid and became young adults for the workplace and
communities. you must have the courage, commitment, and passion to work for social, and economic ekwaume equality for you. you can do well. you can have a great job, you can have a great life by doing good in the community. the two go hand in hand. i hope that the class of 2011 will be the future leaders who rebuild the nation's economy for jobs for all. who will fix the nations schools, who will build the global enterprises that will produce a more just and equi equitable community. and the third "e" is to commit to high expectations. a nation and a people and a person which expects failure,
will fail. a nation and a people and a person that expects second-class citizenship and second-class outcome will remain there you. you are living proof that a child that grows up anywhere is a child that can succeed and becomes a college graduate. whether you are from the south side of chicago, east in detroit or in los angeles, whether you are from the ninth ward in my own hometown of new orleans. whether you grew up uptown or downtown with two parents or one. and whether you grew up with poverty or prosperity. class of 2011, you are every --
over coming expectations. and those who love you and supporters today had high expectations of achievement for you. so somewhere in this audience is indeed the future medical researcher, who will find a cure for our most difficult diseases. somewhere in this audience today is a future justice of the united states supreme court who will stand on the shoulders of thurgood marshall, somewhere in this audience is a great journalist and a communicator that will follow howard graduates who follow that succession. i look out and see future
governors and mayors and future members of congress, and teacherers of universities and pastors and military leaders, and physicists and biologists and pharmacists. and i predict that the class of 2011, you will produce a future president of the united states. and she will make history too. so class of 2011, you can be whomever you want to be and whomever you choose to be. hold fast to high expectations. a great writer once wrote, you have brain in your head, and feet in your shoes. you can stir yourself in any
direction that you choose. you are on your own, and you know what you know and you are the one who will decide where to go. today i ask parents, grandparents and alumni and administrators to join me today, that says that anyone today thinks that the glass is half empty, only needs to look at the promises graduates of 2011, the glass is half full. on this day of celebration, i ask you to join me in saying that we are one howard university, and we are empowered. we are one howard university, and we are inspired. we are one howard university, and we are powerful, magnificent and courageous. we are one howard university and
we are servants. and we are one howard university and class of 2011, this is your time to name and claim your leadership role in 21st century america. stand today committed to excellence, equality and high expectations. but also stand today on the great shoulders of the former graduates of howard university. you stand on the shoulders of kenneth clark and john jacob and vernon jordan. you stand on the shoulders of cathy hughes and addison rand. you stand on the shoulders of attorney general, pamela harris, and governor wilder. and you stand on the shoulders of general davis, and lori
stokes, tony morrison, and yes, michele miller. you stand on the shoulders of all the mothers and fathers and grand mothers who are here today who have gone before us, who struggled and bled and yearned and sacrificed and nurtured and tolerated each and everyone of you. you stand on each shoulder today. howard university class, let us be united with a commitment for excellence and equality and high expectations for all, this is your mission and this is your moment, good luck and god's speed.
president clinton will speak about the federal deficit and middle east peace process. you can see his comments sunday at 10:30 a.m. eastern on c-span. >> people often say to me, and a good question, how much of your time do you spend writing and how much time doing research? great question, no one ever says how much of your time do you spend thinking. and that's probably the most important part. >> sunday with the interview with david mccullough, and his book, greater journey. and you can download at c-span.org/podcast. >> next bucknell university
climb the mount everest and in 2002, he was one of 11 and only first blind man to climb the seven summits. and there is more, he's dedicated to bring new possibilities to others. he's co-founder to no barriers, a nonprofit organization to help people with barriers to live full lives. in 2004, eric lead people up to mount everest, that was captured in the documentary "blind sight." eric touched the top of the world and in 2007 he co-authored
a second book, the adversity advantage, turning everyday struggles into everyday greatness. on friday a bunch of us were going about chores and work. and on friday to mark his 10th anniversary of the summit, and he and others climbed the tallest point of the rocky mountains. and coming in next month, he will appear on expedition impossible. eric leads by example, we are so honored that he joins us today. his speech is broadcast for later review for c-span, give a warm welcome to eric weihenmayer. [applause]
>> thank you, everyone. thank you. thank you, president bravman. i know that was a nice introduction and lots of prestigious things and accomplishments. and i think that most people were excited about the dog here today, my dog to my left, eri. i was out in the crowd, and someone said that's the most amazing dog i have ever seen, man's creature, and i was walking up the aisle, and biy te way, that's our speaker and he climbed mount everest blind. i am used to taking a back seat to the dog.
it's wonderful to take advent e adventures around the world and for the seven summit, and more interesting is the mental journey. it's a journey to understand how cultures in the u.s. and around the world to see how we confront uncertainty. to see how we confront change. whether we are able to grow or evolve to an amount of success. or camp out on the mountain or stagnate or figure out way to challenge ourselves until the day we die. to see how we deal with adversity, whether it crushes us, or figure out a way to flourish in the face of it. and to face adversity, and many are you have a road map to create ahead.
there say lot of uncertainty as you go forward. and for a blind climber, there is a lot of uncertainty. there is no road map for a blind climber, they don't go together. it's like being a jamaica snow sledder. and i tried to climb the glacier and 19 days later crossed this narrow ridge in the summit. it was 4:30 in the afternoon when i stood on top, and it o n turned out to be helen keller's
birthday. and many times the accidents happen coming down, and my wife and others were watching us take the last steps. and we have red suits on and looking identical, and waving to the plane. and i said to my buddy jeff, do you think i know i made it. and he said, yeah, they know, you are the only one waving your ski pole in the opposite direction. it's good to have friends. as you know, and i made it down safely, and i was outside my igloo and as cold as tired as we were, and i laid on my belly. and i had never done something so physically demanding, half of me knew i wasn't tough enough or
resilient enough. this is half the thing that a blind person should do, and other half didn't care. and my leader cooked up spaghetti that i immediately gave back to the mountain gods, and chris is from alaska, and he's got these great philosophies. and you are in a blizzard and chris will say, sure is cold out here, but at least it's windy. or he will say, we sure have been climbing a long way. but at least we are lost. on the top of ocinawah, i got on
the summit behind chris and he said, you may be blind but you are sure slow. and i wasn't expecting that, and i said, chris, you are not so nice but at least you are stupid. i love positive, and you can use it, hey, we are facing a tough road and get through it together. and as graduates you can say, there are not a lot of jobs out there, but at least i have a 2.1 gpa. and when you buy your first house, and we may have to live in a smaller house but at least my mother-in-law is coming to live with us. and back in the igloo, i saidsai
am so sorry and i didn't mean to mess up the igloo. and he said, big e, anyone who will call through their puke, and i will climb to the top. and he did. and i have great time climbing mountains and i love goals. and all of you have multitude of goals that will keep you busy and in my life what more than important than any one goal is what i call vision. and i see vision more differently than others, it's more of an internal vision. how we see ourselves living our lives and serving other people and impacting the world. and what legacy we want to leave behind us. and we can come into these goals
and they can be isolated and maybe lead us in directions we didn't want to go to in the first place. and we need to reconnect those goals and to have a vision. and it's one thing to believe the vision and sum it up with focus and discipline to live in its framework. now perhaps your vision is powerful, your vision is to serve people. your community, your family and university and the world around. but how do your goals day after day alive you to bring you closer to that vision. perhaps it's to flourish with a sense of innovation. how is your goal to achieve it. but to find ways to blast
through people's expectations, so hard you shatter them into a million pieces. how do your goals do it if your vision is not to react to life's challenges but to lead. how do you take those goals and wrap it around that vision and make it real. as you leave bucknell, it's an important time to formulate the vision that will sustain you through your journey. like an internal compass that guides you through good weather and more importantly bad weather. when i went blind just before my freshmen year in high school, i wasn't thinking about a vision but surviving. i remember sitting in the cafeteria, listening to all the
laughter, all the jokes and food fights passing me by, that i wanted to be a part of. i wasn't afraid to be blind but afraid that my life would be meaningless for nothing. and i could see a tiny bit out of my right eye, and if i got close to the television, i was watching this show back in the 80's called "that's incredible." theyaturing terry fox, and life his leg to cancer, and he was going to run thousands of miles. and most people would have dug in their heels and focus on surviving.
instead terry did the opposite. he decided to attack. and the miles took a terrible toll on his body, on his stump. the look on his face was a contradiction, full of exhaustion but at the same time full of exhalation. and at the time there is something inside of us, that i could only describe as a light. to feed on setbacks and failures to use those as fuel. the brighter, the greater the challenge, the brighter that light burn. and that light seemed to makes for focused and creative. i wondered if it could transcend our own limitations and give our lives power. and by staring into terry's face with my one eye, and i wondered how you turn into the storm of
life and emerge on the other side not just unscathed or not damaged but stronger and better. and it was a few months after that i got this newsletter in braille on kids going rock climbing. and i thought, who would be crazy enough to take a blind kid rock climbing. so i signed up. i was tired of building walls around myself. and i signed up like terry. and i would dig my fingers into a crack or pocket, enough to keep me stuck to the face and do another pull-up. and i left a lot of blood and skin on the face. but i got on the top. and i will never forget it was so exhilarating and vibrant, it
flopping on our face, to make a bad decision. or the fear that we are not as good, or the fear that we climbed as high as we can go, and no place to go but down. i think those fears paralyze us. i think there are no difference between fears and pioneers. because they understand that there is no process but reaching out in the darkness, that we don't know what we will find. we are reaching to possibilities and not seen. and some allow that darkness to paralyze. and i reached out that day, and i know you are reaching out and to make big reaches in your life. those reaches make possibilities
in the world. i don't see myself as a crazy guy getting rocketed across the grand canyon, but i see myself as an innovator or problem solver, and to figure out a way to go forward. like pioneer in the past, by a sense what have is possible. and i think it's important to see ourselves as modern day pioneers. i don't think that you are climbing a necessarily dangerous mountain. but it means you are motivated by a sense of discovery. when you define the word discover, it means to unveil. and a lot in the world are
veilled by darkness. as i pioneer, when you reach out farther and farther up the mountain, maybe farther than anyone has given. and the farther you reach, the more adversity you bring into your life. in fact it's like you are asking for it. who wants that. the farther you reach, the more adversity you bring in. and there is a correlation between adversity and greatness. the two go hand in hand. and maybe what kept our species going for thousands of years is to move away from adversity. i think in order to achieve greatness, we have to square off against adversity. those small adversities that wear us down, that say, hey, i
am treading water but still drowning. i think we got to square off with them and walk into the storm. the best example i ever saw on a personal level is my friend mark wellman. when he was 21 years old he fell in a peak in the sierra nevadas and was paralyzed from the waist down. and he was going to climb again, and he developed this pioneering system that no one had seen. and his partner has the rope and mark locks off and pulls up on a pulley system and pushes the bar up, and only gets about six inches up with each pull-up. he climbed a peak and they
estimated he did 7,000 pull-ups in seven days. i have met many people like mark, they can take the lead life has piled on top of them and figure out how to transform it into gold. they don't just do traditional things, and don't deal with adversity or overcome it but these alcomisms have figured out how to seize the hold of the adversity and harness that energy and propel in other ways. you can throw them into an uncertain environment and strip away their resources and throw
roadblocks in front of them. and they still find a way to win. and not inspite of adversity but because of it. if we want to innovate and create a whole new paradigm that the world follows, it is way that we harness those challenges. and while the world focuses on surviving, you use the energy on this momentous occasion to drive forward and make ground and impact. what if adversity weren't the enemy? what if it instead were the pathway to greatness? well, i think first of all there are a lot of adversities that are all around us. you are entering a pretty tough economy and people's confidence
over the years, and a lot of hype that america isn't what it used to be. and beyond that the global challenges of overpopulated climate and over use of fossil fuels and clash of religion, lots of adversity. but look at the pool of talent here in this stadium, you are the world's best hope for alpothy, and i think that leadership is about pushing the envelope. and i think it's equally about helping others to reach their own summit. for me it came to partner with
mark on the organization, no barriers. we were so impressed of how to climb mountains and to show others to change that adversity. we bring together pioneers, most with disabilities that push the envelope of science, technology and music, we bring them with the game of helping others with challenges, most of us. to find new technologies to shatter the personal barriers in our lives to be more adventurous. we show new equipment for amputees to get out and adve
adventure in the wilderness. we all have the tools and mind-set to attack head on and live the life we envision. in that no barriers spirit, as we approach the anniversary on tuesday. we as a team decided to celebrate and give back to america's heros. we organized last summer a team of injured soldiers, that had be hurt in afghanistan or iraq, we had a team of 10 soldiers and took them to colorado and trained them and taught them everything they know about climbing on this team. we had extraordinary people, nicholette who was injured in iraq and had to learn to walk again. and dan, a marine who is big and
tough but because of psd has trouble walking through a grocery store. and matt was sucked into the rotor of a helicopter and has severe foot injury and every step is difficult. and close to my heart, steve, who was hit by shrapnel in the brain and blinded instantly. on this day on the peak, and at one point steve was wearing down and struggling. and said, i feel i am out of my element and feel i need to go down. and my friend jeff said, steve this isn't just about you, but this is about all of those injured soldiers and those who are yet to be injured. about your fallen comrades, this
is about them, knuckle down and get this job done. and that's what steve needed to here, and the team stood at the peak together. i have been on higher mountains and harder mountains, but standing on top with these heros was the most important moment. we have leadership and pass through in life and give people around us great courage to do great things. you are entering a very challenging world. it's harder and harder to predict the future. in fact i promise you there will be days where you feel like you are climbing blind. but i don't think this is the time to lose our will, to be clouded by fear and doubt. or to be swept to the sidelines
and to be forgotten. i think this is the best time in history, perhaps the best time in history to be a pioneer. to reach out and take lead and turn it into gold. we do this for ourselves, for your family, for your university. but i think most importantly we do it for the sake of this wonderous world we live in. helen keller said, i am only one, but still i am one. i cannot do everything, but still i will do something. i will not refuse to do the something that i can do. to bucknell graduates of 2011, keep climbing, keep reaching. climb high. thank you very much. [applause]
european trip today, vice president biden presents the address. then the republican address by house majority leader, eric cantor, he also focus on the economy, and discusses his plan for job creation. >> i hope you are having a safe, and enjoyable memorial day weekend. i have good news, not only is our economy growing, but one sector of the economy is on the rise again, the american automobile corporation. chrysler corporation announced they are repaying the loans in office, and this announcement came six years ahead of schedule. and just two years after chrysler corporation emerged from bankruptcy. this is not just chrysler. also this week, g.m. announced
that their detroit factory will run six shifts for the first time in the history. that's 2,500 more good-paying job. in the words of don forest, of the uaw, says, it's mind-boggling to go from near extinction to full employment in two years. and what you didn't get was the tone of his voice, it was full of genuine pride. because i can tell you, he knows as my dad used to say, that a job is about more than paycheck, it's about dignity. and i heard that dignity when i called the plant in detroit the day that chrysler paid back their debt. i talked to a worker, who said
that her dad had worked on that line before, and she was out of work for 2-1/2 years before hired back to the plant. i got the same sense in new hampshire, 85 employees came out and stood in the lot with me, all who knew and said, had chrysler liquidated and we had not helped them, they wouldn't have had a job. when president obama and i came when president obama and i came in office, we faced total collapse at the time when people thought that the president should let the automobile industries go under. and the president disagreed. and he wasn't willing walk away from the uaw employees and he
wasn't going to abandon an industry that meant so much it our economy and so many others. and he said that if they are willing to do the difficult work to make them competitive. we would support them and give them another chance. and because of what we did, the automobile industry is rising again. manufacturing is coming back, and our economy is recovering and gaining traction. but the thing is this, even for a lot of people with jobs, their wages aren't keeping pace with gas and health care and college tuition. that's what the president and i remained focused on, not just recovering from the recession but you can get ahead and put your kids through college and retire with dignity and
security. before i sign you have, i want to mention again memorial day and remember what this holiday is about. we still have tens of thousands of troops still in harms way. in days we past we remembered heros from former wars. but it's essential that we remember today, and that thousands of names have been added to those memorials in the wars that are continuing. folks, all i ask you to do is what my wife, jill and michelle obama is asking, reach out to those families that has someone deployed in the community. let them know that you know the sacrifice they are making. engaged in what my act would say, a single act of kindness. invite them to the barbeque or mow their lawn. let them know you know their
sacrifice and you are willing to lend a hand. and that's what michelle and jill are doing in their organizations and hope you enjoy this holiday. >> hello, i am eric cantor from virginia, i am happy to be here with you on this memorial day to honor those brave americans that gave service to this country. it's their sacrifice that has kept america free and strong. let us pay them tribute by promoting lasting peace across the globe. as we spend time with people this weekend, our thoughts and prayers are with people in oklahoma and missouri with terrible tragedy. please know that congress stands ready for request of funding
from president obama to ensure that resource are available to help these communities recover. americans have a rich history of standing tall and going the extra mile to propel ourselves forward. whether the american revolution or industrial revolution and we have unique leadership to solve any problem. now we face new obstacles as this country is at a cross roads. do we want more government or more growth and jobs. we saw the former when democratic-controlled washington and enacted a trillion dollar program and failed to get people
back to work. and it took a republican victory to stop president obama and to stop president obama and leader pelosi, and now the summer 2011 approaches, far too many neighbors and family and friends are still out of work. to be strong and to lead and grow and to empower people, here is what we got to do. we have to shift from a government that smothers new jobs and business growth to one that nurtures and gets people back to work. and back to what americans do best, innovate, compete and lead, and that's why we focus on jobs to america. and have been committed to economic growth in jobs on day 1. beginning in january, we adopted a two-tract strategy called cut and grow. the first part cut is obvious. the first part cut is obvious. we know that washington has to
stop spending money we don't have and manage the money we have. and we understand that cutting alone is not enough to address our debt process and to get people back to work. we must also grow, for too long washington has relied on gimmicks and now no more. now more than ever, our nation needs small business and entrepreneurs to get people back to work. and we have pledged to america and to help the nation's job creators grow the economy and start hiring. our plan for american job creators for economic policies to give our businessmen and women the tools they need to get the for hired signs back in the
windows again. first we must fix the tax code and reduce the overall tax rate to no more than 25% this makes the tax code simplier, flatter and more fair. we will increase competitiveness for the manufacturers, the more they produce, the more export the more workers they need. by enacting agreements with other countries, we create hundreds of thousands of jobs. there is no excuse for delaying trade agreements for products at home. next stop regulations that are against growth and prosperity. last week in richmond, i held a
forum with business owners from all over virginia. and they made it clear that washington is stopping them from hiring more workers by unnecessary regulation. frankly these regulators have cost our country countless jobs. yet this administration is telling america's businessmen and women to create more jobs. businessmen and women and entrepreneurs tell me they want to help them stay in the black and not a tangle of red tape. and no doubt they are feeling the pain at the pump. and america lacks the an energy
strategy to achieve the country needs in the 21st century. we cannot wait on this administration to act, they have had ample time and have done nothing. we will pass bipartisan legislation to expand energy research and this will help grow our economy and enhance our security. by putting in place policies that encourage businesses to expand and innovators to innovate and to allow leaders to lead, will not only get our budget on balance but get americans working again. this memorial day we are reminded that the true grit of americans is passed from one
generation to the next through free market and a fair playing field. americans will outwork and outhustle and yes, out-innovate the rest of the world. the private sector has been and all will be the source of america's prosperity if we don't stiffle it. in america, our parents taught us that everyone has a fair shot, not of success but the opportunity to work hard and get ahead. our history is rich with people who have achieved greatness through hard work, thrift and faith, and without interference from an over bearing and over burdensome government.
let's give what people need to succeed and make sure that people can get a job and get this country back on track. if you have a spare moment, i encourage you to read our plan to create jobs at gop.gov, thank you. >> people say to me, and it's a good question, how much of your time do you spend writing and doing your research. great question. no one says, how much of your time do you spend thinking, and probably the most important part of it. >> c-span day two of interview with david mccullough, and you can download more podcasts online at c-span.org/podcast. >> supreme court justice samuel
alito talked in st. louis and that even though oral argument lasts only one hour and the research is a large part of the work. this was a part of the law day celebration, that recognizes the role of the law in america. >> of the attorneys here to infillerate the rome, and many of you here. and thank you wayne for that introduction, he was one of the stars of our law school class, and it would not have surprised any of his classmates that he would be one of the real stars the federal judiciary. i want to thank dewayne for the
great introduction, and thank you for your warm welcome. and thank the bar association for all courtesies that have been extended to me. it's a great pleasure for me to be here and have this opportunity to talk to you this afternoon for many reasons. among other things, i welcome this opportunity to congratulate your bar association for its century long commitment to provide equal access to justice. i am sure that many of you know that the inscription on the front of the supreme court building reads "equal justice under law." that's the highest ideal for our profession. and i commend the bar association for its efforts to translate that and i hope in the
next century you redouble that efforts. i mention of the supreme court as you know the inspiring inscription on the building, what i want to talk about this afternoon are other things about the supreme court that some people, even knowledgeable people don't know or more likely have forgot in reading coverage in our day-to-day work. i got the idea for this talk a couple of years ago, when i heard about a poll that asked people to name two justices of the supreme court. and what the poll revealed that more people could have name snow white's seven dwarfs than the justices. i was not worried about that but
relieved that people didn't think that sleepy, and dopey were the names of the supreme court justices. that kind of trivia is not important for ordinary, knowledgeable americans to know. but there are some things about the court that should be widely known. and many things will be that the knowledgeable people in this room know. but we tend to forget them if we read coverage of the court in the general media. or even in some general interests legal publications. so the little title for the talk is the top 10 things you may not know about the supreme court. this is everyone watches late night tv, this is my spin on what you might see during that time.
>> this is 10 a.m. on a morning and our courtroom is filled with rows of lawyers of the court, and the rest of the courtroom is pretty full. and many people that are occupying those seats are tourists that are in town and would like to see a supreme court argument. and among thosespe spectators i the general gallery are students who have been in a college course and have heard about the great cases in the past, malbury
case and important cases. and we announce all rise and the supreme court of the united states. the first case is called, the audience looks on with anticipation. and then the lawyers and the justices begin to talk about something incredibly arcane, technical and for many, i suspect down right boring. and for the truth of the matter, most of our cases are not about the great issues of constitutional law. in fact the great majority of our cases are not about the constitution at all. last quarter most cases were mostly about the interpretations of statutes enacted by congress or rules promulgated in the
cases. in this term we had statutes, the alirsa, security act of 1974. the four-r act, does anyone in the room know what that is? >> right here. >> you get the door prize. what is it? >> (inaudible). >> you do deserve a door prize for that, but only one person, the reform act of 1976, and we have heard cases of the federal arbitration act and the national childhood vaccine act and uniform services employment act and the privacy act and the false claims act, the criminal
act and the security exchange act of 1934, the national traffic security act of 1956, and the bankruptcy act and many others. now these cases involve important questions, but for the most part are not what people have in mind when you think about the united states supreme court cases. and that's three quarters, and what about the remaining 25%? perhaps a law student heard oral argument in our court and in four cases, the odds is that at least one of them would be about a constitutional issue. what sort of arguments is the student likely to hear in that case? most of you are probably aware that for the past decades in legal academia there is an intense defying debate about constitutional theory and
originalism and nonoriginalism and all that. and a lot of law students are introduced to these theories in class and learn about their importance in litigation. and of course there is cases where theory looms very large. a couple of years ago we had a good example, and the case i am talking about was district of co coc col columbia versus heller, and this was about a right to bear arms. and whether to incorporate the right to keep a firearm for the purpose of self-defense. it was an unusual case because there was so little prior
supreme court precedent. just one little case decided in 1939, in a very short and cryptic opinion. so this was a case in which theory naturally had an important role. and the opinion of the court written by justice scalia was an example of one leading theory of interpret. and not surprisingly, it was very realist. and that of justice stevens was an originalist opinion, and justice breyer wrote to his philosophy in a number of books and just as pragmatic. so this was an example that theory meant a lot. the choice of a theory that a justice selected meant a lot in the outcome.
but that was the exception that proves the rule. a case that came in the wake of heller illustrates this point. this is the second item on my list. most of our constitutional cases are governed by precedent and not by theory. the case that came along in the wake of heller, that illustrates this case. is a case called mcdonald versus the city of chicago. and this was also about the second amendment, right to bear arms. heller involved the district of col columb columbia, and didn't have the application to the state. mcdonald presented that latter question. and for the nonlawyers in the room, let me back up and provide some constitutional backgrounds.
the provisions of the bill of rights originally adopted app applied only to the federal government. and not to the states. only after the rattiification o the 13, 14 and 15th amendment that the question was presented and knew about the application of the bill of rights provisions to the states. in the mcdonald case, two provisions of those post-civil war amendments, which fundamentally altered the relationship between the federal government and the states were at issue. one of the privileges or immunities clause of the 14th amendment prohibiting a state to abridge amunities for the united states. and the other provision, due
process clause to prevent property to due process of law. shortly after in a famous case called the slaughter house cases, in 1883, the supreme court gave this a narrow interpretation. we may think of the metaphor, since the flooding in this area, the metaphor of water heading down to the sea. water will flow downhill, no matter what you do, and it will makes it way to the sea. if blocked in one channel, it will find another channel to reach its destination. and that may be viewed as what happened with respect to the interpretation of the 14th amendment. the slaughter house cases blocked the use of the privileges or immunity clause to
provide substance protection for rights not mentioned in the constitution. now today many scholars believe that's what the immunity clause intended to do. but case law went through the due process clause of the 14th amendment. and bit by bit, almost all provisions of the bill of rights were made applicable through the means of theory of incorporation. just as there are a lot of scholars that think that the privileges or immunity clause was badly misinterpreted in the slaughter house case, and today you can hardly find a scholar that was interpreted correctly. and there are scholars that
think that the due process clause provided process and not substance. and in the mcdonald case, if the right of bear arms is provided to the states and through a friend of the constitution. a friend of the court brief by academics contained the following plea. as professors in law look forward to the day when we can bring forward this interpretation. and for those in chicago who wanted to overturn the chicago firearms ordinance and argued that we use the privileges clause and not due process clause. you may think that this academic
plea based on scholarship would have received sympathetic hearing. because the supreme court is the most academic court in the history of the country. today four of my colleagues were former law professors before they took the bench. and three of the justices were sitting on the mcdonald case when it was argued. but when one the lawyers raised the privileges or immunities point in oral argument. professor scalia took the winds out of sail when he said the following, what you argue is the darling of the (inaudible), and contrary to 104 years of jur jurisprudence and why you take that burden, and when clauses
were provided, everyone provided the established framework. point four, this is a question that i am frequently asked a week like this week, when we are not hearing oral argument. and it tends to come up in dinner for thanksgiving, and are you off this week, and i will say, we are not hearing oral arguments but i have a lot of work to do. and which is true. but i get the impression that people who hear that, don't believe me. they have the idea that sitting on the bench and hearing oral argument is our main job. it's not, this is my next point, hearing oral argument is relatively unimportant part. for every case we hear on the
mem merits, we hear one hour of argument. others are astonished that we will devote one hour to argument in a major case. in countries like united kingdom and others it is longer. for us it's one hour. and by contrast by the one hour we spend in participating in the argument. we spend many, many hours reading and studying the case before we ever take the bench. before we take the bench to hear argument in a case, we will have spent hours and days studying the case. the argument of briefing that we receive is enormous.
last term we had nine cases that the briefs including the amicus briefs totaled 900 cases. and had one case of an important patent case where the briefs exceeded 2,000 pages. you can see that a lot of time is spent in the research. and we are primed for the argument and the justices tend to have a lot to say. last term the court averaged 120 questions per case. now 120 questions divided by 60 minutes, you see we are averaging two questions per minute. 40% of the words that were spoken during the oral arguments last term were uttered by the justices and not the attorneys. and this term a lot of observers have commented that we seem to
be asking for questions. if the statistics are compiled at the end of the term, i wouldn't be surprised if we're pushing the 50% mark. and if we don't reach that this term, i am sure we will in the future. i find that oral argument is helpful in one of the final steps in the decision making process. but as i said, the truth of the matter is that it's less important than the briefing or the opinion/preparation process that follows the oral argument. this brings me to my fifth point. we do our own work. and i am repeating from just souter, and that the reason that we are important is that they are the only people in washington that do their own work.
i won't repeat what people think about the supreme court, but the latter is true. we still do our own work. and when i say that, i don't mean to cast dispersions on the president or congress. their responsibilities are so vast that an enormous amount of delegation is unavoidable, and can you manage the time of the president if he wrote his own speeches and other things. so i am not criticizing other branch branches. but we have the luxury of maintaining a personal role. we have a small support staff, we have three career nonlawyers that provide office support. and we have four law clerks, that serve for just one year. they are very brilliant young
attorneys, and their assistance to us is invaluable. but as i said, they serve only one year. by the time they become fully familiar with all of their tasks, at least one half of their tenure is completed. now despite this, there are those on the outside that think the clerks are pulling our springs. a recent article after justice brandise's assertion and no one would make that claim, but if that's true, the knowledgeable observers of the court are wrong. keep that in mind, i will come back to that later. point six, we are very
independent and not manipulated by our clerks, and in the end we reach an independent judgment. we don't disclose prior to conference and we are all equal. we all have one vote. and no one is required to sign on with an opinion with which he or she does not agree. and we have the right to write our own dissent if we are not pleased with the opinion of the court. there is a big difference between productive independent and a refusal to listen to or take into account the views of colleagues. in this as i think in so many things in life, the trick is striking the right balance. i recall two cartoons about the
supreme court that appeared in the new yorker some years ago. and i think they bracket the approach that a justice should take in considering how to react to the views of colleagues when that justice doesn't agree with his or her colleague's views. now both of these cartoons featured a picture of the supreme court bench, all the justices on the bench in their black robes. and in both cases one of the justices was speaking. in the first, one side of the bracket one justice says, well, if all of smart cookies agree, who am i to dissent. that's one extreme. and the other cartoon that appeared later, and shows the bench and one justice is speaking and reading a
dissenting opinion, and says, my dissenting opinion will be brief, you are all full of crap. i have had a couple of cases in the last two terms in which i was the only person in dissent. but that was not what i was saying about my colleagues. if you read some of our disse dissentidissen dissenting opinions you may interpret that, and sometimes strongly worded. and this brings me to my next point, we are not at each other's throats, contrary to what people may receive from the opinion. and i wrote a concurrence and not a dissent, and it says that my opinion was quote
have disagreed very sharply just a short period before. shifting gears now, i am ready for my point number eight. and that is some of our opinions mean less than a lot of people think. what do i mean by that? this is for, for several reasons. for one thing the opinion-writing justice has a lot of prerogatives, and we don't make stylish suggestions and if you had eight of those opinions and you can imagine how long it takes to get the end product out. so we don't mess with the style of our colleagues' opinions, but style sometimes bleeds into substance. if someone takes something from the tone of a particular
opinion, that person may be reading something into the opinion that is not there. and our opinions are written in a time pressure and don't have time to mull over as an author of a book might have and third our opinions focus on deciding the case at hand. the majority that endorses the opinion and the rule that sets out opinion, necessarily believe that is the rule is the right for one the case. but the agreement among the members of the majority may not actually extend a lot further than the ground covered in the opinion. and if you read more into it, as having a more broader application, you may or may not be correct. point number nine, some of what is written about us is
misleading or just plain wrong. i will give two examples, the first involves something misleading, i think intentionally. i was struck and somewhat displeased earlier this term by a flurry of articles regarding justice thomas' practice of not asking questions during oral argument. now if he asked the same number of questions as the rest of us, the lawyers couldn't get in a word edge wise. and much was made in the press and articles suggesting that justices have an obligation to ask questions during oral argument. so the lawyers will know what they are thinking. none of the articles that i read pointed out something that i think is important, and would
put this matter into historical perspective. and that is that justice thomas' practice of not asking questions is as far as i can tell is exactly the same as the person that is universally regarded as the greatest supreme court justice, john marshall, the person that more than anyone else built the supreme court into the institution it has been. and in john marshall's day, the justices asked no questions, and the attorneys did not submit briefs. the entire presentation was oral and no length of the argument, and no prohibition of tag-team arguments. that was john marshall's practice, and of others in the founding era, i think it may
have provided some historical perspective if at least one of the articles would have pointed out that fact. and on to something that is plain wrong and again i think unintentionally so. for several years now a widespread popular criticism of our court is that we are pro-business. we always decide cases in favor of business as opposed to employees, and people and consumers. this is mentioned in a lot of articles and mentioned by a lot of public officials. now a few months ago, i was rudding on my treadmill, and when i when -- running on my treadmill and flipping through the channels to make 45 minutes pass relatively painlessly.
and i found slim pickings, nothing that interested me. and finally i settled on a c-span program that featured a debate between a very, known comme commentator and he began to discuss the court. and saying that the current supreme court is very business and both justice thomas and scalia worked for congress. and heard this and i nearly fell off my treadmill because i had no episode of this in my career. and i have only had only two
employers, the department of justice and the united states court. never earned an honest living in the private sector. and when i heard this, i thought something is happening, you have partial amnesia, you have forgotten an entire period of your life. and i need to jump off the treadmill and look on wikpedia and see what i see, and what knows what i would have found. the justice in the foreign legion. that was in early 2011. a short time after that, a number of articles began to appear that expressed surprise that most of our cases involving business law and employee law during the current term had gone
against business interest and employers. linda greenhouse that covered the court for "the new york times" for years, wrote an article for this and what account fiss for the topsyyy tu world. and maybe these have something to do with outcome. and it's a radical thought. and item 10, we the federal courts, court of appeals and the bankruptcy courts, we are a co-equal branch of government. we're not more equal than the
other branches. and we have to keep that in mind. and we are also not less equal than the other branches. the constitution calls on the three branches of government to check each other. but this can be done with fairness and it can be done with respect. i think that is what the american people expect. and it is surely what they deserve. well, this is the message i will leave you with on this occasion on this law day celebration. it is important for all of us who work in the law for those of us who are fortunate enough to be judges, for those of us who are fortunate to be attorneys, it's important for us to teach other people about our legal system. and the learning center that was described earlier is a perfect example of this sort of thing we need to do. reach out to citizens and
ordinary adults so they appreciate our legal system. and it's important for us to defend that legal system against encroachments. it's important for us to recognize the strengths and the weaknesses of our legal system to work and correct the weaknesses. one advantage i have had in the last five plus years on serving on the supreme court and the opportunity to speak from justices and judges from many other countries. when you take an international perspective and look at our system and draw from the details we are concernod a daily basis. and you know what a legal system, and we know the defects of the system, and better than most people. but in understanding the
weaknesses and in resolveing to work to improve them, we should not lose sight that we have the best legal system in the world. it's quite a rarity and something we have to work to preserve. it's been a pleasure to participate in your law celebration day today. thank you very much. [applause] >> it's now my pleasure to actually say the supreme court precedent to a supreme court justice, and i will refer you to
flood versus coon, which involved curt flood, a st. louis cardin cardinal, and the opinion was written by justice blackman, and it was unique as he wrote a sort of valentine to baseball, that the rest of the majority opinion did not endorse the first. and it included with baseball players, and hall of famers and it was cited as precedent and it's not unusual for supreme court justices to have an interest if baseball. and as a token of our prees
appreciation we have decided on a baseball item and for this date, 2011 and enjoy the baseball game later this evening. thank you. >> thank you. >> i will treasure this, it will go into my baseball shrine i have in my office. i am just as enthusiastic as baseball as justice blackman. and i will joined that, and so you know that's the truth. when the marshalls drove me to the hotel last evening after they picked me up at the airport. i had a request and they may have thought it was strange. and i gave them a street address to drive past, and it was the former location of the sportsman park and the first busch stadium
and that's where the great players played. for a fan like me to see that, that was an experience that i wanted to have. and this will as i said, be displayed in my baseball museum in my office. thank you very much. [applause] >> next the annual media research awards and dinner, and then the supreme court argument on arizona immigration law. and after that a house hearing on internet sales tax. >> people often say to me and it's a perfectly good question, how much time do you spend writing and how much time do you spend doing research. great question. no one says, how much of your
time do you spend thinking. and that's the most important part. >> part 2 series with david mccullough, and you can download this and other q & a podcasts and other signature programs online at c-span.org/podcast. >> next the media award of 2010, including authors and screen writers, and other speakers is cal thomas and virginia. speaks first is the group's founder and president.
this may contain language that is offensive. >> shut the hell up. shut the hell up. >> ladies and gentlemen once again. >> thank you for watching my back again. god, i am going to miss that man. i swear i would look forward to his next career. but ann and i were talk about this afternoon, does anyone know on a current tv dial where
someone can find current tv. >> shut the hell up. >> we will have more on good old keith for the moment. but for now, welcome to the 2011 dishonors awards. let me try to get a flavor for what audience i am dealing with here. how many of you believe you have been here every year since we have done this in 1999? ok, how many of you are new to this? how many were here last year? we didn't do them last year. [laughter] you bunch of liars. all right. for those of you who are new and including the people that raised their hands, let me try to plain
how we do th -- explain how we do this, we will present five different categories. and when that is done, we will arrive at the quote of the year, and you ladies and gentlemen will make selection of the year by noise application. you will note there are noise makers at each table, consider them your personal wmd's tonight. feel free to use them to express yourself from the podium, and i expect you to start now. tonight, ladies and gentlemen, we rise to new lows of personal deplorium.
and tonight we will announce the winner for the 2011 buckley award for excellence in journalism. and when the award is finished, and the evening just is beginning on the other side of this building, you will have a special performance by the outlaws. and so it's a good evening and for those of you who are eating free, should feel guilty now. let's begin, to present our first two awards is a man that needs no introduction, except you would not know who he was. neal borg is a radio announcer that is syndicated and he was a finalist for the 2002 network syndicated personality of the
year, and that year he won the award for the radio and records magazine. he's the author of several books, about liberals and taxes, neither of which he likes. he's our first presenter, and this is a true story. i was doing a show about four months ago, and on his own program he started to whine. on 250 stations he was whining, why don't you invite me to go on your awards ceremony. the way that only neal can whine, you never invite me, and you don't have me. it was so embarrassing. i finally gave in, i had to put an end to this, ok, neal, you can be a presenter. and that's why ladies and gentlemen, he's the first presenter. the truth of the matter is they
was delighted to hear neal say that. he's been a presenter on this program, and he's always been a smash hit and a favorite of mine, and i would like to ask him every year. ladies and gentlemen, i give you >> i am going to have so much fun with my granddaughter with that tomorrow. did brad just tell but the palm beach speech i gave? he talked about me being a whiner? is that it, when he invited me down there to speak and i am in the back and talking about
hannity and limbaugh will save the world. -- notice there are no teleprompters, and i have trouble with bow ties. and ann, thanks i had to go to ann's room to get the bow tie done and little did i know that andrew had trouble with bow ties and suspenders and shoes. and soon i will sell my bumper sticker in the back, it's simple, change you can step in. or change you can scrape off the bottom of your shoe. you know on halloween you can take some obama change, you put in a bag on the front porch and set it on fire.
you know it's been four years ago since they invited me, because the last time i was overmedicated. and i am told i embarrassed some people, but you know, i am old enough that i really just don't give a damn anymore. the first award tonight is the obama-gazm award, named by l.brant gazelle. and i am pleased he had me present this award. and it's this liberal fascination with the obama
obama-oshan-regime, and obama is their perfect man, and you see how they write about barack obama, and the way they do it, that's the second thing you can do that will make you go blind. i mean look at him, there is a reason. and here we have a president that up until this week has failed at every single thing he ever tried to do except running for president. and -- this was a tough week. because i actually had to go on the air and say, good job, mr. president. you told the military to do what they do, and then you take credit for it, and then there is a website that pops up. have you seen this? gutsycall.com, have you seen
that? you log on to gutsycall.com, where does it take you? obama 2012. is that not spiking the football, folks? so -- when it comes to obama-gasms, nobody is better than it, than our guy, chris matthews oh, look at obama, he's so dreaming. he's on the beach in hawaii, my god, he's got nipples. look at him in golf shorts. and there is a sick back under every chair in here, ladies and gentlemen, if you need one. so chris matthews is our first nominee tonight, he has to be as a matter of principal.
and he made the center tingle up my leg award with his stunning man-crush on barack obama. he doesn't have sense enough to be embarrassed about it. in 2010, with the election weeks away, boy did we have fun with that one. chris matthews, of "hardball," and on the air when you leave that switch on your wireless microphone, and not only does he have a tingle in his leg, but ladies and gentlemen, it has spread, chris matthews. >> my family gave me love, and an education and most of all, they gave me hope. folks -- hope that in america no dream is beyond our grasp. if we reach for it, and fight
for it, and work for it. >> you know i get the same thrill up my leg. all over me, i am sorry, ladies and gentlemen, that's me, he's talking about my country. and no one does it better, president obama -- this november -- >> the answer is no, and as you look around the table, these other guys are moving their chairs back, what a . .
this really kind of is a little irritating, to tell you the truth. because when i go on vacation from my radio show, as i was last week, this is the guy that fills in for me. he's a freaking fill-in for me! [laughter] and now i have to introduce him like he is some sort of a hot shot here. [laughter] ok. cnn contributor most nights 7:00, hosts his own show on wsb radio in atlanta, which is the largest and the highest billing talk radio station in the nation. i want to tell you that. the london telegraph, tch doesn't even know i exist, has named him one of the most influential conservatives in america. that really pissed me off! have y'all ever heard of red
state.org? that's this guy. ok, so he knows how to load stuff on the internet. bring to the stage one of the gutsiest leaders we have. mr. erik schatzkerson who wants my office by the way. he can't have it. >> mr. eric eriksson, who wants my office by the way. he can't have it. [applause] >> evan thomas, if you would. did you bring an iphone up here? >> i want you people to know i called evan thomas and asked him what he wanted me to say. he said first of all, thank god
the award came out before making that statement about obama biblically proving himself to be an effective commander in chief. also that is very funny that he would get an award called the obamagasm. the only person who uses it more is jay carney watching "the west wing." imagine what a real white house press secretary looks like. in all seriousness, evan thomas wanted me to convey his sincere thanks to david brock and his crack team of medium researchers. they spend day after day eating twinkies and drinking red bulls. combating racist tea baggers. but for the fine efforts of
media matters, he would not be able to do his job. said it is not media matters. it is media research service. he said brent bozell can go to hell and thank you very much. [applause] >> he can't wait for me to retire. [laughter] now by the way, eric, there is big things in store for you because have i two people who have been my substitute hosts for when i've gone on vacation. because i've been doing talk radio for 41 years. if you look at me, you'll see why i've had a great career in radio and not tv. when i first started talk radio, my substitute host was a history professor by the name of newt gingrich. who would only in and do the
show when i would leave. for the last couple of years, my substitute host, up until just a couple of months ago was a man named her man cain. [applause] -- herman. so now eric, probably some day a candidate. that seems to be what happens to my substitute hosts. i'm going to have two of them running this year. one of the most exciting political developments in the last quarter century has been the tea party movement. [applause] and -- this is the left wing booger eating moron's worst nightmare. millions of americans standing up for lower taxes, less spending and smaller government. [applause]
the message is absolutely brilliant in its simplicity. and the founders would have loved these people but the fiscal foot stools in washington hate them with a passion. if you look up foot stool in the dictionry, you can use it in the column sometimes. that one usually just goes whistling right on by people. nowhere in the poisonous vitriol of the tea party, it is one dishonest smear after another. it really hasn't worked all that well. after two years of smears, the tea party is still stronger than ever. [applause] i mean, you really have to be a leftist ignore aimous to like to
tea party. no, did not misspell it. obama can't stop spending. the radical left won't stop their cade -- crade crusade. my first nominee is a doozy. yeah, i know i'm not all that pretty but give me a break. the first nominee works for you. that is tavice smiley. there is -- tmp av -- tavis smiley. there is nothing that happened in his life that wasn't driven by racism. if he gets a massage and they press a little too hard, the
massage therapist is a racist unless they are black, in which case they are an uncle tom. last may 25, he was interviewing an author about radical muslims and she made a pretty innocent observation triggering broadside from out of nowhere, tavis smiley against the tea party, equating them with blood thirsty terrorists. here, watch this. >> somehow, the idea got into their minds that to kill other people is a great thing to do and that they would be awarded in the hereafter. >> christians do that every single day in this country. >> do they blow each other up? >> people walk into post offices. they walk into schools. columbine. i can do this all day long.
someone got arrested for making threats, for calling people nigger, for spitting on people. >> how many of you knew that the shootings at columbine were a christian attack and how many of you knew that going postal, it is not just because you work for the post office. by the way, this hotel used to be a post office building. how many of you all knew that was christian-based attacks? this was the guy the phrase ig -- ignoramos was created for. there is no more consistent tea
party basher than the recently departed, too bad he is not lobster food, keith olbermann. excuse me. speaking of lobster food, why didn't they dump bin laden in the dead sea? now, that's not from me. well, we buried him at sea. what sea? the dead sea, you dummy, of course. he has an award reserved for himself but he is also a finalist in this category, march 22 last year. mr. nice guy, let it fly. stringing together one of the longest lists of personal insults and attacks in the history of mud slinging. >> the whole of the tea party, it is in its heart along with blind hatred, a total disinterest in the welfare of others.
not accepting the outcome of elections. the narrowness of their minds. saturday that support came to regress is like michelle before achman or john voit. >> what a prepice. we have, in this country racism, bigotry and prenled -- prejudice. if you asked that fool to define difference between the three, he couldn't do it. if you took the definitions and -- everything he knows and shoved them up an ant's ass, they would rattle around.
his 18 viewers on whatever the heck channel he is on now, you know, one car wreck and he can -- he has lost half of his viewership. and our final nominee for the tea party from hell award, bob shareef, cbs last year -- shiefer, cbs. listen carefully where this guy who insists he is not a liberal methodically repeats every accusation against the tea party and presents them as the absolute truth. he is reporting on tea party members exercising rights of free speech but with a negative spin that caused keith olbermann to walk up after the show and ask for his autograph. >> a year-long debate turned even nastier yesterday.
demonstrators protesting the bill poured into the halls of congress shouting kill the bill and made in the ussr. they hurled racial epithets. sexual slurs at massachusetts democrat barney frank. others said the protesters spit on them. one lawmaker said it was like a page out of a time machine. >> what a load of horse squeeze. that he did not hear anybody yell a racial epithet at him. there were tv cameras and microphones all over the place. not one audio, not one video of a racial epithet being hurled at the congressman.
anybody being spit on. [applause] although i'm sorry to the front table here. [laughter] and in referring to barney frank, bob shiefer ought to be careful not to say that he slurs his words. if anybody was getting spit on, it was the guy in front of barney frank. [applause] now this one is tough to judge. it went danny -- actually there was one judge's final ballot and since i'm always the last one to get my ballot in. it might have been me. let me see. to evidence that congress should not be forcing the american taxpayer to fund pbs, the tea party award from hell award goes to tavis smiley.
>> ♪ it's the end of the world as we know it it is the end of the world as we know it snensnepped >> the tea party are arrested every day for making threats, calling people nigger as they walk into capitol hill, for spitting on people. >> ♪ it is the end of the world as we know it i feel fine ♪ >> tavis smiley couldn't be here tonight because the media research center wouldn't fly him first class, which made them of course, racist. so to accept the tea party from hell award on behalf of tavis smiley, two people most qualified, and these people i think, look, they truly are heroes. i was talking to the young lady,
i'm going to be introducing in a second, a couple of years ago, she was cleaning houses with her husband to keep a roof over their head. instead of begging for government help. was a computer programmer. absolutely one of my heroes. here are the founders of the tea party patriots, ladies and gentlemen, [applause] >> ♪ born to be wild born to be wild ♪ >> he's right. i was cleaning houses and not just were we not seeking
government money or begging for it, it actually was dangled down in front of us in the form of fannie mae or freddy mac and we they are asking for $8.5 billion. >> it is really an honor to be up here accepting an award on behalf of tavis smiley. but he makes a habit of not speaking to actual tea partiers. we spoke to his spokespeople. they said he would like to come. he is -- >> tavis smiley has a show on
n.p.r., the tavis smiley show. he is such a great example of broadcast excellence as demonstrated by n.p.r.. it is the year of n.p.r., isn't it? my tax dollars and yours go to support this kind of balanced and unbiased journal isk excellence. they just hired a lobbiest last week to secure more money. >> this is a nice award but it is not his first award. apparently for three consecutive years he has received an award from the naacp called the excellence -- i'm sorry, the of course we all know what a great friend and a fair advocate for the tea party movement the naacp is. >>
>> bicepping the tea party award on behalf of tavis smiley, we would like to thank him for his unwavering condominium to fair reporting of the tea party movement. we would like to but we can't. he hasn't demonstrated this yet. but there is always next year. today we can thank him for continuing to point out the absurdity of the left ch [applause] >> thank you. i'll see you in four years. four more years. see if you can find me. >> while neal was reading "war
and peace" i was back there and i got a text from my son who scored some mammoth points with his wife by telling me to remind -- by reminding me that i have to say a shoutout, a happy mother's day to all the mothers here. happy mother's day. [applause] in twetch, and with the blessing of its namessake, we introduced some new elements to the m.r.c. gala, the william f. buckley award for excellence in journalism. every year there are trophies to be won by unaccomplished liberals in an industry that regularly banishes wise conservative thought from polite company. we should never use the words journalism and excellence in the same sentence. but we can. when we produce reporters who
report balance and impashality. they do just that. our commentators comment with devastating accuracy. our radio personalities crush their opposition on every level, our guys can beat up their guys. our women can beat up their guys. [applause] it just occurred to me. so we honor all of them. in 2007, our first winner was rush limbaugh. in 2008, the award was given to the late, dearly beloved and sorely missed tony snow. in 2009 it was bestowed on the great brit human and last year it -- brit hume. last year it went to sam evans. what a powerhouse he is.
his twice weekly column appears in over 500 newspapers nationwide making him the most widely read voice in america. he is a panelist on the popular fox news watch show. his latest book "common ground" was co-quinn with robert beckle. he has worked with nbc, cbs and appeared on a countless number of television programs. a george foster peabody award and has received awards from the associated press and united press international. big deal. tonight he gets the big one. ladies and gentlemen, it is my honor to present to you the 2011 winner of the william f. buckley award, my dear friend, cal thomas. [applause]
>> thank you very much. that is very nice. all i can say is that standards are falling everywhere where. i want to congratulate the two people who walked out during my introduction. i salute their good taste. i would not want to be a member of any club that would have me as a member. it is a great honor to be recognized by my piers and since they don't, it is a great honor to be recognized by you. we have all heard of the -- like neal, i don't have a tell prompter teleprompter. they have all been taken up in this i don't know why.
bill buckley broke through the iron door which segregated conservative thought to a place outside the mainstream marketplace. destruction of that iron door by the force of his intellect made it possible for generations to follow in his wake. he graced 300 newspapers and made me think gee, if he can do it, maybe i can too. this column began with a relationship. it was tom johnson, the former l.b.j. aide who opened the door for me when i was publisher of the los angeles times. urged them to give me a chance. tom is a true pluralist and a gentleman. the column quickly grew to reach 500 newspapers because i persuaded editors that if they would let me into their papers, i would get them new subscribers, among the disaffected conservatives.
they did and i did. the number of papers carrying me has fallen off slightly for many reasons including the trouble which newspapers have found themselves, but it remains i guess it is number one but here today, gone tomorrow, right? the other relationship that helped me more than any other was a little higher than tom johnson. in march of 1983, i asked god to do a greater miracle than moses parting the red sea. said i would honor him with the platform he had given me. while i am most appreciate i, i must give credit where the real credit is due. to the one who gave me the gift of writing. i recall what god told samuel, he who honors me, i will honor. thanks to my wife ray for standing with me for 40 years and thanks to the god i serve.
i hope this will please him. thank you very much. [applause] >> you always know when you're following cal thomas. congratulations again to cal thomas. cal, you may have recently heard that the phillips foundation awarded journalism grant totallying $131,000. i just want you to know that on behalf of the trustees of the media research center, it is my pleasure that we have decided to match that amount for you dollar for dollar tonight. [applause]
cal is not getting bupcuss. never has, never will. cal wouldn't know what to do with a check from the media research center, as often as he has helped us. thank you, cal. cal is a special friend of this organization. what people don't realize is how much cal has given of himself to the movement. volumes could be written of the things that he has done for a lot of organizations, professional for a lot of people and permanently. i know that. thank you and ray, god bless you too. [applause] our second presenter tonight is the author of such internationally best selling novels as "true crime" "don't say a word," a film starring michael douglas. his books have been translated around the world. andrew klavan's latest book,
"the identity man" was chosen as the must read by "entertainment weekly." he has begun publishing a series of thrillers for young adults. his essays have appeared in print, his voice on radio and his face on tv everywhere. i highly recommend that you go to pj tv.com. serving as our second presenter for the 2011 dishonors awards, please welcome andrew klavan.
>> this is kind of a step down for me. like, you know, anne, everyone who has ever stood on this stage that dishonors presentor, i'm doing this -- i'm not being paid anything. i'm not getting a single penny for this. not even air fare. [laughter] i had to rent this tux myself. [laughter] my hotel room is small. [laughter] i was near the ice machine. i was up all night. so thanks so much, friend. [laughter] what was i talking about? oh, yeah. we present what we call brit baker's funniest videos. these are not awards. they were just some videos found on television or on the internet. they caught our eye. we thought you might enjoy them.
we have six offerings tonight. the first one comes courtesy of the internet site 236. the man who'll now be the brain trust behind al gore's current tv. >> as promised. as promised. >> unseemly, mere nonsensical bluster. >> you're a fascist. get them to print you a t-shirt with fascist ob it. >> this is crap. >> show a little respect. >> grow up. you are a liar. >> that is un-american. >> you, sir, treason, sir. an adults campaign here, sir. >> you are fraud, sir. >> you, how dare you. >> you, you, you. >> i'm not gay. >> pathetic and odessa pratt. heartless. >> disgraceful. >> pithy, juvenile.
>> no. no. no. >> horrible. horrible. >> you would have been screwed. and screwed you are. good night and good luck. [applause] >> shut the hell up. >> speaking of al gore, the next offering is the 1994 video that shows the then stars of nbc's "today show" bryant gumbel and katie couric. trying to wrap their mind around al gore's invention of the internet. this was taped on a cell phone which is why the quality is kind of poor. here they are grappling with one of the systems of the new age.
>> translate that. >> i've never -- >> then it sounded stupid when i said it. >> at nbc, g.e. com. >> allison should know. >> internet is -- the one that is really becoming big now. >> what do you mean? do you write to it like mail? >> a lot of people use it and communicate with nbc. >> can you explain what internet is? >> no, she can't say anything. >> shortly after the state found out about the invention of the
cell phone camera. every night fox's brett bayea finds something funny. these are what he consider the best of what he found. >> construction projects, filling a hole in a road, taxpayers would like to know how many workers it takes to do that job considering every one of them is getting paid by the hour. >> a guy filling a hole. how many guys. one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, 15 guys! 15 guys to fill a hole. >> cutbacks are also an issue in a tough economy. it is really hitting every network. >> i'm brian williams. as always, we hope to see you right back here tomorrow tment [applause]
apparently we missed how far lawmakers went with this whole thing. >> hey, now, for the first time ever, we're going to turn on the capitol hill kids -- kiss cam. >> this 911 call raised some eyebrows. >> what's your emergency? >> my wife got attacked by a wart hog real bad. i need someone to come pick her up. >> can you give us your address? >> we're at 105 eucalyptus drive. >> can you spell that? >> i'm going to drive her on over to oak streak and you can pick her up there. [laughter] -- oak street and you can pick her up there.
>> crivel efficient. -- kudos to jimmy kimmel live. >> i now hand this gavel and the sacred trust that goes with it to the new speaker. god bless you. [applause] >> you wish. >> have you ever watched president obama pontificating on something and just wish that somebody would challenge what he was saying, like maybe the press? courtesy of nick derossio. sergeant joe friday doing the job the mainstream media won't
do. >> guarantee that the people we are watching tonight, your people areups will go up. your employers are going to load up more costs on you. potentially they are going to drop your coverage. they just can't afford it. the federal government will go bankrupt. >> you really believe that? you appear to be a moderately well-educated man. you use that highly trained intel eakt much the same as a highly sophisticated weapon. you have had the finest university teachings in the world. how do you put it to use? for the common detriment of man. for the positive of a society that made that learning possible for you. with that intelligence you can move mountains. >> what about my rights? my family's way of living? you don't concern yourself with
that, do you? >> you're full of enthusiasm and ideas. you're boiling over with energy. you want to change things so you look around. you see a lot of things that need changing. people kill each other and they shouldn't. people are hungry and they shouldn't be. people are cold and illiterate. they need shelter and books. the world needs changing. if you're going to live with the rest of us, then you'll have to learn the play the game by the rules. [applause] >> finally, there has been a lot of talk. you hear a lot of talk when people look at the g.o.p candidate, where is the next ronald reagan? well, we found him. here he is, like all great careers, all great careers have to start somewhere. reagan of course was a broadcaster, an actor, a union leader, business spokesman, governor of a state. barack obama may have gone to
college. [laughter] this guy, our next ronald reagan wants to begin as treasurer of stark county, ohio. he didn't make it but his announcement speech was unforgettable. here are a couple of snippets. >> my name is bill davidson. i have been a republican -- albert einstein issued one of my favorite quotes in the history of the spoken word. it is as follows. in the middle of opportunity, in the middle of difficulty. i'm going to repeat that so i have clarity tonight. in the middle of difficulty
comes opportunity. this is the opportunity we have been waiting for. the treasurer's office is a mess. it needs guidance. now i seize this opportunity. as nominee tonight, i promise each and every person in this room i will hit the ground running. let's send the message to the people, we're tired of business as usual. drastic measures. yes. thank you.
drastic times require drastic measures. [applause] >> all right. those are brett baker's funniest videos for the evening. now we're going to move on to our third award. this award takes us to the darkest hollywood, my stomping ground. everybody is familiar with those blooper reels where some glamorous hollywood performer makes a silly mistake. you'll see hollywood performers making the same silly mistake over and over again, the mistake thinking they have something to say about politics. i don't know if you have ever seen the film "all about eve." they called this the weird process by which a body with a voice suddenly fancies itself as a mind. [laughter] when such people are separated from their teleprompters and forced to ad lib, we get a train
wreck of blithering stupidity. a lot of left wing philosophy. now heed the ad-libbing liberals degrade our culture and mislead our youth and poison our political dialogue but they are good for a couple of laughs. the third award is "i'm not a political genius but i play one on tv." here are our three finalists. now this first one, some of you may have thought this woman was dead. it was actually just her career. [laughter] she was once a star but she has descended into complete irrelevance. she was once invited to appear on anderson cooper's show. let's hear it frr rosanne barr.
>> this past january 5, rosanne took some time off from eating to go on cooper's show and treat his dozens of viewers to her carefully considered philosophical view on conservatives. here is a sample of her life-changing wisdom on spail and conservatives in general. >> all of you tea party spokespeople, you work for -- they are like billionaires. the guy has never worked an honest day in his life. i think she is a loon and i think she is kind of a traitor to this country. her followers are the dumbest people on earth. seriously, they can barely scare up a pulse. >> that's kind of mean.
>> thank you very much. >> now, the second nominee is a man who fulfills all the qualifications of a hollywood intellectual. he wears a tie and he sneers. i'm speaking of course of bill maher. he made an entire movie in which he blamed all the troubles in the world on our faith in god. you may not have read this. the trade paper reports god is currently working on a film called "oh bill, you are in such deep, deep trouble" which may have a longer running time than the original film. some of you may remember how earlier this year, the left wing media made a -- about which
maher speaks in the typically measured statesman like way we have come to expect. >> do it because it will make rush limbaugh explode like a bag full of -- [laughter] it will make sarah palin go rogue in her pants. when we see crazy senseless deaths like this, we can only ask why, why, why, couldn't it have been glen beck? >> sarah palin talking about death panels? if we were killing off useless people, you would be the first to know. >> settle down you people. come on. our third and final nomination for "i'm not a political genius but i play one on tv award" goes to meathead. rob reiner played meathead in
the 1970's. he plays meathead in real life now. for instance, on october 22nd on the eve of the historic midterm victories, he was a guest on bill maher's show and the prospect that the tea party might be victory in november caused him to wax about history. some will think the man is a complete idiot. the rest of you probably stopped paying attention. >> hitler by the way never got more than 33% of the vote. ever in germany. he wasn't a majority guy, but he was charismatic and they were having bad economic times just like we are now. people were out of work. they needed jobs and a guy came along and rallied the troops. my fear is that the tea party gets a charismatic leader
because all they are selling is fear and anger. >> right. >> that's all hitler sold. i'm angry and frightened and you should hate that guy over there. >> and i do. >> now it is time to present the award. i repeat myself. the i'm not a political genius but i play one on tv award goes to the meathead. >> ♪ >> the tea party gets a charismatic leader. all they are selling is fear and anger. that's all hitler sold. i'm scared and angry. >> ♪ don't know much about
history don't know much about biology don't know much about science books don't know much about the french i took but i do know that i love you and i know that if you love me too ♪ >> meathead couldn't join us today. he was set upon by by tea party storm troopers. accepting on meathead's behalf is a man who is his opposite in every way. he is tall and learned is and has a pleasant personality. in the world of public policy, he has turned out to be one of our very best leaders. the president of americans for pros parity with the ability to rally more than 1.7 million supporters in 50 states. as the pleasure to introduce to you, meathead's greatest
nightmare, the charismatic tim phillips. [applause] ♪ >> sadly rob reiner could not be with us this the evening. this is still a secret, mind you . but rob and michael moore over at the offices of the environmental protection agency right now as we speak, it turns out that the e.p.a. is about to classify rob and michael's stomach as federally protected wetlands. so we're very honored by that. [applause] i hope my mom's not watching. that is really wrong. [laughter]
now, in all candor, rob is back at the hotel this evening. he is afraid to turn off his tv. if he does, msnbc's audience will drop by 25%. that is just wrong and unfortunate. rob and michael are in a really big fight right now. they are usually good friends, but they are fighting it out. the mascot for save the whales is up right now. the two of them are going at it hammer and tong over it. it has been a while since he had a hit movie. he has been struggling. he misses the publiced alation. tonight's award i think will help rob with that. he did what he often does when he is depressed. went out to a public location and hoped that people would recognize him. he went to a senior citizen home in san francisco just last week. he was walking around the room
going hi, do you know who i am? do you know who i am? finally an elderly lady patted him on the arm and said no, but if you go to the nurse's stand, maybe they can help you out. i want to thank present bozell for picking up a guy who is down on his luck. thank you all very much. [applause] >> thank you, andrew klavan. tip phillips. -- tim phillips. every year our team of immediate cra sleuths pour over tens of thousands of hours of footage. the quotes are delivered to a veritable who's who of the conservative movement and ultimately as it should be, they read their final judgment with the winners and runners up at